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Town Manager News and Updates

Posted on: May 19, 2021

Town Manager Report - 5/24/21

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Department Update Report for the May 24, 2021 Select Board Meeting

Administration

  • Provincetown Airport: With regret, we announce the passing of Airport Manager, Arthur “Butch” Lisenby after a period of declining health. Butch served as the Airport Manager since 1989 and was a respected fixture in the community. During his absence, Cape Air appointed an Interim Airport Manager, Peter Kacergis, who has now been hired as the permanent Airport Manager. 
  • Community Meetings: Meetings continue to go well with both internal and external stakeholders. Some of my recent meetings have included Patrick Patrick to discuss the Barracks Project and Christine Barker to discuss the proposed project at the Old Reliable site. I met with Dr. David Weidner, Director of the Pilgrim Monument, and saw the new exhibit and the ongoing construction of the funicular. I also met with Park Service Superintendent Brian Carlstrom at the National Seashore, Gywnne Guzzeau, Director of Helping our Women, Dan Wolf of Cape Air, Kara Galvin, Executive Director of the MassHire Cape & Islands Career Center, Dr. Brian Ryder O’Malley, the Town representative on the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates, and Steve Latasa-Nicks on behalf of the Red Cross. 
  • Town Buildings Re-opening: Town buildings, including Town Hall, will open to the public for Town business on Tuesday, June 1st. Non-scheduled public access to Town Hall for Town business will only be allowed Monday to Thursday from 9am-4pm. There will be a door-person assisting with entry. Town services, such as permitting, will continue to be available online. All Town Hall employees are also available by appointment within regularly scheduled hours. The public is encouraged to utilize online services and make appointments. 
  • Police Station: I’ve restarted efforts to advance a plan for a new Police Station. I met with the Owner's Project Manager Paul Millet from Environmental Partners, Jorge Cruz of Flansburgh Architects, along with appropriate Town staff, and have scheduled a Building Committee meeting for Tuesday May 25th at 4:00pm. 
  • Fire Station Needs Assessment: The deadline for the Fire Department Needs Assessment was Friday May 21st. More details to follow. 
  • Last week, I visited Provincetown Schools, the Public Library, the Council on Aging, the Fire Station and the Recreation Department. 

Ambassador Program

  • The Ambassador Program will be active only two more weekends with Saturday May 29th being the last day. 
  • The Ambassadors may be reassigned other positions within the Town.

Building

  • 30 Shank Painter Road Construction: The panelized construction method at 30 Shank Painter saw a week of high activity. Two floors, including the rear steel framing, were installed. The goal is to have the roof on the building by the end of the month. This is a common method for multi-unit buildings.
  • 419 Commercial Street: The contractor is beginning preparation to protect the area around the building. Provided the fencing and other safety items are set, demolition is scheduled to start on Wednesday May 19, 2021.
  • Marijuana Establishments: The locations at 48 Shank Painter and 308 Commercial have received the requisite building occupancy permits.  This allows them to proceed with the balancing of the licensure from the State.

Conservation

  • Hazard Mitigation Plan: FEMA has approved the Town’s 2021 5-year update of its Hazard Mitigation Plan, which is a key step in advancing the Town’s $3 million grant application to construct the Ryder Street Beach Dune Enhancement project and the Ryder Street Outfall Relocation project. Town staff worked over the fall and winter with the Cape Cod Commission and regional stakeholders to update the Town’s hazard mitigation goals and actions for the next five years. The Town’s priority goals are to reduce potential for loss of life and damage to property/infrastructure, continue local and regional hazard mitigation planning with nearby towns and the county, pursue funding opportunities to implement mitigation projects, and increase public awareness of hazards. Examples of the mitigation actions which the Plan includes are collaborations with MassDOT to protect transportation and utilities at Route 6A and Snail Road; with National Seashore on projects to protect the airport, Province Lands Road, and Shank Pinter Pond; and with the Army Corps on the preservation of the West End salt marsh, The Plan will be adopted by the Select Board at its next meeting.

Council on Aging/ Human Services

  • MDAR Grant: Through a Food Security Infrastructure Grant Contract from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources secured by the Health Department, the COA has replaced both the refrigeration and freezer walk-ins in our kitchen. The refrigeration unit was failing and the freezer storage unit has not functioned since the move into the Veterans Memorial Community Center. This will ensure adequate refrigeration for both Senior Center meal programs and the Town shelter. 
  • ESCCI Grant: The COA has received a Title III CARES Funds grant from Elder Services of CC&I for projects related to food insecurity and social isolation. The funds will be used to purchase raised garden beds with senior volunteers tending the garden in pairs to promote social connection and the herbs, vegetables and flowers used for Senior Center meal programs.
  • COA Facebook Page: Since 2017, the COA Facebook page has focused on publicizing Senior Center programs and services, sharing information about essential resources as well as posts from partner departments and agencies, and posting about positive events, such as photos from the mobile pantry.  Managed by Outreach Coordinator Andrea Lavenets, we share 1-2 times/day with occasional weekend posts and are appreciative when others share our posts.

Emergency Management/Transportation

  • 2021 Camper Permits: The 2021 Camper Permits for the designated spots at the Jerome Smith Parking Lot and the new spots at the former VFW property have sold out. Those who are interested in parking their RV’s in a Town-owned lot may park at the metered angled spaces in the Jerome Smith Parking Lot, but must pay the meter accordingly.
  • Parking Lot Entry: Rear license plates are read at entry and exit to the MPL and Grace Hall Parking lots, regardless of whether or not the vehicle has a permit.  Although solar glare can play a part with incorrect reads (and therefore not triggering the gate arm to properly open), any object, such as a bike rack or trailer hitch, or a faded plate, can impede the cameras from properly reading a plate.  If there are issues with a license plate not triggering the gate arm(s), Erin Ellis in the Parking Department should be contacted at eellis@provincetown-ma.gov, or 508-487-7050 so that a solution can be provided.
  • Parking Ticket Appeals: The appeal of any tickets must be in writing and cannot be done over the phone.  Please email all appeal requests to appeals@provincetown-ma.gov, and include your ticket number, your name, mailing address, and best contact information.
  • Annual Traffic Hearing: The hearing with the Select Board will take place in the beginning of November. To submit a proposal, contact Elizabeth Paine, Secretary to the Select Board, who will collect all the information for this meeting.   

Harbormaster

  • Harbormaster Boats: The primary patrol boat, Marine 1, has been launched and is operational for the season. The pump-out boat, Marine 2, is being prepared for service.
  • Beach Kayak Racks: All but 13 (6%) of the beach kayak storage rack spaces have been rented for this season.
  • Seasonal Assistant Harbormasters: We have two Assistant HM’s that began working on Monday, 5/17/21, with vacancies for two additional applicants.

Health

  • COVID-19 / Public Health: The final Barnstable County Regional Vaccination Clinic was held on Monday, May 17 in Eastham. While there were spots for 500 appointments, less than 50 people registered. This may be an indicator that the bulk of our population who wants vaccination has received it. Provincetown Health will continue to work with Regional Collaborative and business partners to ensure our incoming workers and most vulnerable residents have access to vaccine. 
  • COVID-19 / Public Health: The Health Department and other Community Development partners held virtual Q&As for the restaurant and lodging industries the week of May 10th. Few attended. The Q&A for retail was canceled due to a lack of registrants. The state’s industry guidance and the CDC’s cleaning guidance continue to be clarified, simplified, and streamlined. The Health Department recommends that businesses bookmark the applicable State guidance and CDC’s cleaning guidance as those resources are updated regularly.
  • Community Programs: Two programs the Health Department has piloted with other partners have generated interest recently from other communities, on and off Cape. After presenting at the Environmental Business Council of New England’s Climate Change Webinar on our yet-to-be-launched Stormwater Resiliency Revolving Fund, Environmental Planner Tim Famulare and Health Director Morgan Clark have fielded questions from other communities interested in launching a similar program. Additionally, Amy Raff has been working with other libraries and the County Cooperative Extension to guide other potential Crop Swaps to opening on Cape. 

Housing 

  • Ownership Units: 6 Sandy Hill Lane #11 is moving towards closing in May; 36 Nelson Unit #3 [1 bedroom, 1 bath, $178,500, as part of the inclusionary zoning development at 30 Shank Painter], open house was conducted April 10 and 4 applications were submitted by 5/3/21, lottery to be held 5/17/21; anticipate one-bedroom unit at 30 Shank Painter Rd. to become available for outreach this summer.
  • Harbor Hill continues at 100% full occupancy. Property Management continues to work on upgrades and CIP planning with the assistance of staff including the public works department. Challenges to repairs and landscaping are being experienced in conjunction with lack of staff for businesses in the region.
  • VFW Development: Staff met with Laura Shufelt of the MA Housing Partnership on 4/30/21. Ms. Shufelt submitted a draft Request for Proposals for staff review on 5/10/21; staff reviewed and submitted comments on 5/14/21. Ms. Shufelt submitted further comments on draft. Staff expects to place on Select Board’s agenda for 5/24/21 and hope to issue the RFP shortly thereafter.
  • Ongoing: Continue to respond to inquiries regarding inclusionary zoning development, local voucher program, down payment assistance and general housing availability.
  • Affordable Housing Annual Tax Exemption: Applications for properties that provide year round rentals are under review in conjunction with the Assessing Department.
  • Inclusionary Zoning Projects: Assistant Town Manager David Gardner updated Inclusionary Zoning Projects to date as of 5/3/21 [see below], including pending developments, in-lieu fee total, and number of units to be created.

 

Inclusionary Housing Projects to Date

Address

Total # of New Units

Inclusionary compliance

Status

# of deed restricted units 

In-Lieu Fee

16 Holway Ave

2

 

$25,485

Complete

170 Bradford St Ext

2

 

$33,487

Complete

Harbor Hill

2

1

 

Complete

79 Shank Painter Rd

3

 

$65,539

Complete

72 West Vine St

5

 

$109,232

Approved pending construction

46½ Harry Kemp Wy

2

 

$43,692

Approved pending construction

30 Shank Painter

8

2

 

Approved pending construction

286½ Bradford St

12

2

 

Approved pending construction

207 Route 6 - The Barracks

112 beds  & 16  units

Rental Exemption

Pending Board approvals

227R Commercial St

3

 

$ unknown

Pending Board approvals

136 Bradford St

2

 

$ unknown

Awaiting application

67 Harry Kemp Wy

5

 

$ unknown

Awaiting application

Total

46

5

$277,435

 

 

Harbor Hill Update

Occupancy

  • 100% Full occupancy
  • Full occupancy reached in October 2020. FY21 revenues above budget.
  • Inquiries still coming in and added to the waitlist. 
    1. Waitlist: 1 Bed: 4; 2 Bed: 11; 3 Bed: 0

Life Safety 

  • Fire Alarm upgrades
    1. Building 7 (37 BSE) complete
      • Waiting to get on Painter’s schedule to patch walls (short staffed)
    2. Work to begin on building 6 in next two weeks with building 4 to follow
  • Building 6 & 7 Deck (egress) Footings
    1. 25 balcony footings need to be replaced
    2. Quote received from GFM: $2,800.00 per footing
    3. Expecting second quote from Moniz construction
    4. One balcony was in need of emergency repair. CDP to installed temporary bracing

Capital Improvement Planning

  • DPW and CDP continue to meet to create a plan
  • Insulation inspection completed on 5/13. Further inspection necessary.
  • Siding and roofing needed: address one building per year. 

Repairs

  • Warranty Door Glass Replacement
    1. Contractor hired. To be completed in one day by end of June
  • Unit 4: Skylight repaired
  • Unit 4: Refrigerator replaced 
  • Unit 5A: Exterior wall insulation repair completed by CDP.
  • Unit 16: Water heater replaced. 

Landscaping

  • Lighting 
    1. Bulbs ordered to convert existing ground fixtures and unit entrance fixtures to night sky compliant
    2. Island lighting upgraded to night sky compliant
  • Harbor Hill sign painted and restored
  • Fence at east side of entrance removed by CDP. CDP replaced the rail on HH side but note this fence is not Harbor Hill’s, but the neighbors.
  • Bike racks
    1. DPW installed 3 racks that were surplus in storage
  • Dumpster enclosure
    1. Quote from Landmark Fence: $10,000.00 (3x price of similar enclosure in 2019. Labor shortage and supply price increase)
    2. ProFence too busy to provide quote
    3. CDP to install by mid-June: $3,000
  • Spring Cleanup
    1. Two landscapers contracted. Both are suffering from 50% labor shortages. Timing TBD
    2. CDP is doing interim weeding/cleanup
  • Island and entrance planting installation
    1. Contract with Garden renovations signed
    2. Installation was due April/May. Labor shortages have forced delay. To be completed by end of June
  • Irrigation well up and running. Controls installed. 

Human Resources

  • Resignations: Steven Wlodkowski – Deputy DPW Director
  • Open Year-Round Positions: Currently the Town is seeking a Town Treasurer, a Part time COA Program Assistant, a Town Hall Custodian, an EMS Coordinator, and On-Call Secretaries.
  • Open Seasonal Positions: Various Seasonal Positions for the 2021 Season: DPW Highway Dept. Laborer, DPW Transfer Station/Sanitation Laborer, DPW Barrels & Grounds Attendants, DPW Third Barrel Pickup Attendants, DPW Comfort Station Attendants, DPW Beautification Maintenance Staff, DPW Groundskeeper Maintenance Staff, DPW Floating Custodian, Parking Lot Booth Attendants, Recreation Behavioral Aides, Recreation Leaders, EMT, EMT-I and Paramedic, Community Ambassadors, PPPC Deck Safety Crew Patrol Staff, PPPC Assistant Harbormasters, PPPC Night Watchperson- Deck Safety Crew Patrol, PPPC Operations Staff, PPPC Seasonal PT Administrative Assistant, Police Dept Community Service Officer. 
  • Applications and job descriptions for all positions can be found on the Town’s website. 

Library

  • June Programming: The Library is excited for some great programs coming in June. Dr. Marc Strauss will be starting a new 8 week series on Alfred Hitchcock's silent films; there will be a screening and discussion of Alice's Ordinary People with filmmaker Craig Dudnick; and an author event with Randi Triant and Sarah Anne Johnson. Go to provincetownlibrary.org/calendar for more information.
  • Internet Access Tablets Available: The Library was included in a Cape Cod Health Care Community Benefits grant with Helping Our Women and Eastham Council on Aging to provide tablets with internet access to community members who are without that technology to stay connected and reduce isolation. Email Amy Raff at araff@clamsnet.org for details. 
  • Library Services: Beginning June 1 the Library will be open to the public Monday-Friday 10-4 & Saturdays 1-5. Curbside pickup will still be available during all of our regular hours (Monday & Friday 10-5; Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10-8; Saturday & Sunday 1-5). Items may be requested through clamsnet.org, by calling 487-7094, or emailing pplstreetside@gmail.com.

Licensing

  • Licenses: Retail business are submitting renewal applications gearing up for the season
  • Licensing Board: Approved the emailing of most licenses to applicants to save time and money.
  • Covid-19 Information: Staff is responding to questions from local businesses on evolving regulations.

MacMillan Pier

  • Fishing Fleet: All vessels have returned for the 2021 season and traps are being loaded onto their vessels and going out into the water for the season. The Pier is alive with activity.  
  • Ferry Service: The Season also kicked off this with the arrival of the two main ferry services, Bay State Cruises and Boston Harbor City Cruises (BHCC). They both plan to run full schedules starting June 1st and a large volume of ticket sales have been purchased through September of this year.
  • Staffing: The Pier/HM office continue to advertise for Seasonal staff through HR. Second shift and night watch began last week and the Restrooms out at the end of the pier are now open 8am-12am/midnight. 
  • Artist Trap Sheds: The sheds are officially open for the season and all sheds will be occupied by June 1st with standard operating hours of 10am-7pm.  

MIS

  • Cybersecurity: The MIS Department’s effort to improve the Town’s cybersecurity posture is ongoing. Town and school staff have until May 29th to complete the first of four training assignments. In addition to the assignments, staff will also be subjected to periodic simulated phishing campaigns to help determine the effectiveness of the training.
  • Free WiFi Hotspots: Provincetown has been selected, along with four other Cape towns, to participate in a free hotspot program being facilitated by the Commonwealth. MIS is working with OpenCape to install the necessary equipment at Town Hall and the Provincetown Public Library, which will provide free internet access to outdoor guests at those locations for a period of 12 months. We are anticipating that the free service will become available beginning in June 2021.
  • Desktop Replacements: MIS is beginning the process of coordinating desktop replacements for staff. We do this every spring; instead of replacing all desktops at once, we stagger it over three years. Each spring, one-third of the fleet gets replaced. This ensures that desktops are no older than three years, which in turn gives staff access to the most recent technology.

Planning

  • Climate Change and Coastal Resiliency: The Tufts Urban and Environmental Policy Field Project Team completed a website: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/ac20d49e5c794f6eb898fc0a267cd45a and a 23 minute final presentation: https://tufts.app.box.com/s/u6wn9xpgpicrpaqg91lw7x6clo6ksj9q/file/807862734043 outlining specific solutions for preserving Provincetown’s historic buildings. 
  • Planning & Zoning: The 227R Commercial Street Project, on remand from Land Court, was approved unanimously by both the Zoning Board of Appeals on May 6, 2021 and the Planning Board on May 13, 2021. The reconfigured project is expected to provide year-round jobs, tax revenue for the Town, a meeting space, 31 hotel rooms, 4 residential units, improved public access to the waterfront, and a true downtown destination for residents and visitors, including a restaurant and bar. The reconfigured project will also significantly improve coastal resiliency by elevating the structure to account for climate change and rising sea levels.
  • Workforce Housing: A special permit for parking relief related to adding a workforce housing unit at 79 Shank Painter Road, as well as a building scale special permit for the proposed Barracks project at 207 Route 6 were unanimously approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals on May 6, 2021. The Barracks will continue to be heard by the Planning Board at its June 10, 2021 meeting. 
  • Historic Preservation: The Historic District Commission has received over 140 applications in the first five months of the calendar year and continues to issue dozens of approvals and certificates of appropriateness at each meeting.

Public Works

  • Town Hall: The annual spring maintenance of the existing HVAC system is being performed and he new HVAC system should be complete and operational by the end of May. The replacement sewage ejector pump will be installed shortly, allowing the reopening of the Town Hall public restrooms. 
  • Library: The specifications for the Library / Firehouse 4 generator Invitation for Bids are being developed. The annual spring maintenance of the existing HVAC system is being performed and the coil on AHU 2 will also be repaired.
  • Tourism: The annual spring maintenance of the existing HVAC system is being performed and the control valve on the cooling coil for AHU 2 will also be replaced.
  • Veterans Memorial Community Center: The re-lamping project has been completed. The annual spring maintenance of the existing HVAC system is being performed.
  • Bradford Street / Prince Street: Pavement markings have been installed.
  • Conwell Street Improvement Project: Curbing, drainage structures and road widening have been completed. The next phase will include the paving of road and sidewalks, installation of driveway aprons, re-installing fences, planting trees and pavement markings.
  • First Landing Park: Work still to be completed are the planting of shrubs, seeding and mulching, installing brick walkway stone dust and a gravel walkway and installing irrigation.
  • Seasonal Operations: Centerline painting will start the first week of June. Cross walks and Commercial Street space will be painted the second week of June.

Recreation

  • West End Basketball Court Retrofit: The Chelsea Earnest Memorial Playground basketball courts (West End) old asphalt surface has been removed and graded in preparation for new pavement. The new pavement is scheduled to be done one week prior to Memorial Day, with the final topcoat and painted lines to be finished by June 11th. When the project is complete, the community will have a refurbished multiuse facility where users are able to have pickle ball games, basketball scrimmages, fitness classes, etc. Thanks to Community Preservation funding, the Recreation department continues to update facilities to better meet the recreational needs of the entire community. 
  • Summer Program for Children 2021: Registrations continue to come in for our 2021 Summer Recreation Program. Nearly 60 registrations have been submitted for Provincetown residents and school students. A waiting list has been created for specific age groups and that are already at capacity. As planned, if space allows, registration will open up to the children of Provincetown employees and Massachusetts residents starting May 24, 2021 and then for all others June 14th, 2021. We look forward to having another safe and hot summer!
  • East End Waterfront Park Project: The Town of Provincetown and the design firm Weston and Sampson have a signed contract in place and will commence the planning process for this park over the course of the next eight months. The working group, which is made up of one member from the Recreation Commission, Open Space Committee, Historical Commission, Harbor Committee and the Public Landscape Committee, will work with the firm to create a public planning schedule. It is the intention of the working group to create a creative and engaging community planning process where all community members will have an opportunity to provide input on the design of park and how it will serve the needs of the community.

School

  • Announcement: Principal Tim Reynolds recently announced he will be moving home to France after three years working with the school. The school is grateful for his time here and a search for his replacement is under way.
  • Employee Housing: Housing is again an issue in hiring efforts for new staff.  To date, the school has lost two prospective employees as they were unable to secure housing. The school appreciates all efforts to remedy this situation for the entire community.
  • MCAS Testing: The students continue to thrive and are putting their best foot forward in an abbreviated version of the MCAS exam.  We are grateful to the staff and PTA for supporting them in this process.

Tourism

  • Tourism Marketing Grants: Fiscal year 2022 grant award letters and agreements have been sent to 44 Tourism Marketing Grant recipients. There are 33 event grants totaling $150,300 and 11 matching grants totaling $72,000. The fiscal Year 2020 Tourism Marketing Grant awards total $222,300. Signed grant agreements are due by May 27, 2021. 
  • Provincetown Cultural District: Provincetown is one of the 49 designated Massachusetts Cultural Districts in the Commonwealth. The Tourism Department works with the Provincetown Cultural Council to promote the Cultural District. In January we applied for a Mass Cultural Council marketing grant and received $7,500 to promote the Provincetown Cultural District. The grant funds are being used for Facebook, Instagram and digital display ads reaching the drive market, radio ads on Cape Cod and sponsored content editorial in Yankee Magazine/NewEngland.com. The story “Dive into the Arts in Provincetown” was published earlier this month and was sent directly to Yankee’s email subscribers on May 15, 2021 and can be found at this link: https://newengland.com/today/travel/massachusetts/provincetown/dive-into-the-arts-in-provincetown/
  • Resilient Provincetown Focus: We have also engaged Yankee Magazine/NewEngland.com to publish timely spring/summer sponsored content editorials casting a wide net to reach the broad Provincetown target demographics. In May “A Return to Provincetown”, found at this link: https://newengland.com/today/travel/massachusetts/provincetown/a-return-to-provincetown/ and in April “Provincetown Shopping Stroll”, found at this link: http://reply.newengland.com/dm?id=00E745D6EAA18FCBBBE998EB3C7B7B3CC816A5AEEFD81FD2 were published.
  • Social Media Advertising Enhancement: We have started targeting users based on life events. Defining the target audience to receive our Facebook/Instagram ads helps to maximize the effectiveness of our ads. We target ads based on location, demographics, interests and behaviors. Facebook has a targeting enhancement based on Life Events when people celebrate key moments like birthdays, anniversaries, engagements, getting married, moving and starting a new job. These life events provide an opportunity to target the users with relevant messages aligned with changes, experiences and celebrations in their lives and deliver ads in their Facebook and Instagram feeds suggesting visiting Provincetown to mark their special moment.    

Town Clerk 

  • Town Election: The amazing efforts of election volunteers were much appreciated in the successful completion of the Annual Town Election held on May 11th.  The election brought out an unprecedented voter turnout with over 42%.  The Office of the Town Clerk is working to send election results to all the corresponding government offices including the Office of the Attorney General and Division of Local Services- Secretary of Revenue.  We are working diligently to swear in all victorious parties and getting them up to speed on paperwork.
  • Town Meeting: The Office of the Town Clerk is working to send all approved Town Meeting articles to the corresponding government offices to ensure decisions go into effect as voted.
  • Seasonal Employees:  With the summer season upon us, seasonal employees are being sworn in.

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